Do you own a small business? Are your target customers within a small geography? If you are targeting a city, town or a bunch of them, your SEO campaign needs to be highly localized. While there are numerous techniques SEO experts use for optimizing a small business website for local searches, we are listing out a few important ones to give you a head start.
1. Create Local Pages
The first step of a successful local internet marketing campaign entails the creation of local business pages for all three major search engines that include Google, Yahoo and Bing. This increases the likelihood of your small business appearing in maps, Google Plus and local search listings.
2. Correctly Categorize Your Business
Whatever be the service/product segment you are operating in locally, make sure to choose the category accurately. Carefully go through the list of available categories and choose the one that best matches your market and target keywords.
It is critical to categorize your business accurately and you will have to do this separately for each search engine. You can also place your business in multiple categories.
3. Ensure Correct Business Citations
You need to maintain consistency in all business related information filled out by you. In other words, your listings everywhere around the Internet have to be the same, including citations about your name, address and business phone number.
In case you come across existing citations of your business on the web, don’t panic. You can still verify that you are the owner via an email, phone or via postal mail. Small business lists on different portals, including online yellow pages and classifieds have options such as ‘do you represent this business listing’ or ‘update this listing.’
4. Authentic reviews are important
Search engines such as Google consider user reviews important for ranking small businesses. Motivate your existing customers to write testimonials/reviews on your local business listings. You can also announce some rewards such as discounts, freebies, etc. for writing such reviews.
You can integrate a link on your website that navigates visitors to user reviews published on Google Plus or elsewhere. This looks more authentic to the target audience as well.
5. Optimize your website for local searches
Finally, optimize your website for local searches. Create landing pages and optimize them for local keywords such as “handyman service in Chicago area” or “the best handyman for hire in Chicago.”